Articles by " Adam"
22 Sep

Happy Hobbit Day!

So. Tolkien Week cul­mi­nates today in a cel­e­bra­tion of Hob­bit Day, since Sep­tem­ber 22nd is Bil­bo and Frodo Baggins’s shared birth­day. Hob­bit Day is unsur­pris­ing­ly awe­some, since Hob­bits freak­in’ rule. You’d think, con­sid­er­ing my nerdi­ness (which can con­ser­v­a­tive­ly be described as intense), that I would have been active­ly engag­ing in Hob­bit­ry since a young age, but I’ve real­ly only recent­ly begun to embrace my inner halfling.

And by ‘inner’ I kind of also mean out­er. Like a hob­bit, I enjoy food, music, leisure, peace and qui­et, food, occa­sion­al adven­tures, food…you get the idea. I even have hairy feet. Though not hob­bit-hairy. That’d be kind of weird.

Basi­cal­ly what I’m try­ing to say is that though Tolkien Week as a whole has been epic and though all of Tolkien’s works are wor­thy of cel­e­bra­tion (Seri­ous­ly, read The Unfin­ished Tales if you haven’t. They’re fas­ci­nat­ing. Also if you feel like being total­ly incred­i­bly nerdy (which, why wouldn’t you?) read The Sil­mar­il­lion. Look, I know. But it’s awe­some. The his­to­ry of Mid­dle Earth is what makes Tolkien and LotR so impres­sive.), The Hob­bit and hob­bits have a spe­cial place in our hearts.

Hob­bits are eas­i­ly the most relat­able char­ac­ters in LotR.  In a uni­verse where even the Men are pret­ty much super­heroes, it’s nice to have some char­ac­ters whom read­ers can see as nor­mal.  In a lot of ways, I think hob­bits are what make Tolkien’s works the lit­er­ary giants that they are.  In the same way, the lack of hob­bits is what makes so much oth­er fan­ta­sy seem hack­neyed and trite.  With­out the very human and even mun­dane ele­ment the hob­bit char­ac­ters provide, the might of Gan­dalf would seem run of the mill.  The strength, resilience, and stature of Aragorn would be dimin­ished.  Every non-hob­bit char­ac­ter would sud­den­ly be less fan­tas­tic.  That’s why hob­bits rock.  From a lit­er­ary stand­point, any­way.

From a non-lit­er­ary stand­point, hob­bits rock because they eat 6 meals a day and pret­ty much just gar­den and hang out in between meal times.  Who wouldn’t want that life?

I know I do.

Check out this year’s Tolkien Week Quiz after the jump!

Read more »

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18 Sep

Ahoy me hearties!

Avast, ye scurvy dogs!

Shiv­er me tim­bers, it be Inter­na­tion­al Talk Like a Pirate Day! Ready your sea­men, board your ship, and sail down to Kards Unlim­it­ed for all your Pirate par­ty­ing needs. Not to men­tion saucy wench­es and grog galore! Be advised there be dan­ger­ous maraud­ers about, so bring along your cut­lass and pis­tols and be pre­pared for a skir­mish!

Whether your favorite pirate is Long John Sil­ver, Cap­tain Jack Spar­row, or Cap­tain Hook, we want to hear your best pirate impres­sion! Rumor has it Bren­dan will be talk­ing like a slight­ly dif­fer­ent kind of Pirate, so you’ll absolute­ly want to come down and see that as well.

Hope to see you there!

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12 Sep

Fantastic Mr. Dahl and Other Stories

Roald Dahl is some­how one of the most loved and most obscure writ­ers ever. This phe­nom­e­non prob­a­bly has some­thing to with the fact that, in addi­tion to being an amaz­ing author, he was a fight­er pilot and intel­li­gence offi­cer dur­ing WWII.

Let me repeat that for you.  A fight­er pilot and intel­li­gence offi­cer dur­ing World Frick­in’ War II.  (And, point of inter­est, not only a fight­er pilot but a fly­ing ace.  In case fight­er pilot wasn’t cool enough for you.)

Point being, Mr Dahl obvi­ous­ly had a lot of expe­ri­ence being both dash­ing­ly hero­ic and a secret nin­ja.  I can’t go into all the amaz­ing­ly dope things Roald Dahl did in his life here, because you’d be read­ing for years, but suf­fice it to say that five min­utes worth of research into this man’s life will cause you to won­der what you’ve been doing with your life a min­i­mum of three times.

Inter­est­ing­ly, Dahl’s work is prob­a­bly best known (in this coun­try) through film adap­ta­tions.  Dan­ny DeVi­to and Rhea Perl­man are hys­ter­i­cal as Matilda’s dead­beat par­ents, Anjel­i­ca Hus­ton frankly dis­turbs as The Grand High Witch, George Clooney is — there’s no oth­er appro­pri­ate word — fan­tas­tic as Mr. Fox, and Gene Wilder is icon­ic as Willie Wonka.  That’s not to men­tion Dahl’s dozens of oth­er works, includ­ing his work for Alfred Hitch­cock Presents, and his many works that weren’t adapt­ed to film. All the­se movies are great fun, but the books they’re based on are out of this world.

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10 Sep

George R. R. Martin’s Nameday Celebration!

Sep­tem­ber is a mon­th of many fan­tas­tic birth­days (includ­ing that of yours tru­ly). One that has become more notable in recent days is that of best-sell­ing author and world-class lit­er­ary sadist (seri­ous­ly, no one delights in my psy­cho­log­i­cal anguish on behalf of his char­ac­ters like this guy) George R. R. Mar­t­in.

Mar­t­in has, of course, been delight­ing audi­ences with A Song of Ice and Fire for years (the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, was first pub­lished in 1996 and was #1 on the New York Times best­seller list in July of 2011), but the air­ing of HBO’s hit tele­vi­sion series in April of last year caused a fair­ly mete­oric rise in Martin’s pop­u­lar­i­ty.

I love Mar­t­in for his chal­leng­ing but acces­si­ble prose, his incred­i­bly well-imag­ined fan­ta­sy world, and for the com­plex polit­i­cal sys­tems that he presents. I real­ly appre­ci­ate what his best-sell­ing works have con­tribut­ed to the legit­i­ma­cy of fan­ta­sy, which is a gen­re that tends to be sneered at in some cir­cles.

Here at Kards Unlim­it­ed, we sell both A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones graph­ic nov­el, and A Feast of Ice and Fire, a com­pan­ion cook­book to the series, which fea­tures recipes for many of the foods men­tioned in Martin’s books. It’s like Mas­ter­ing the Art of French Cook­ing, except Wes­t­eros is bet­ter than France in lit­er­al­ly every con­ceiv­able way.

Why not cel­e­brate this man’s awe­some writ­ing tal­ent on his birth­day, Sep­tem­ber 20th, by curling up with your favorite book from A Song of Ice and Fire and a home-cooked Wes­t­erosi meal? Now that I men­tion it, I think I will.

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